Q: What are my options if part of a Final Judgement of Divorce is dropping an FRO and it has not been done yet?
Part of our Term Sheet we both legally signed states she is not longer fearful and would volunatarily drop the FRO. Per the Final Judgement of Divorce, it states "This matter will be dismissed after this judgement is entered." However, during the final hearing the Judge stated that she would need to take the steps to do it and within 10 days. What are my options?
A: Not sure if you're suggesting that she changed her mind or simply forgot to drop the FRO. If it's the latter, try asking her (very, very nicely) if she could bring a copy of the Order to the DV unit, explain the situation, and request that the FRO be dismissed. She may still need to go before a judge to have it dismissed. If she does this and has the FRO dismissed, you should consider buying her flowers. Remember, your goal is to keep the court out of your life as much as possible. Otherwise, if she just decided to ignore the Court Order, you can file a motion to enforce litigant's rights. What you should keep in mind is that TRO's and FRO's can ruin your life with nasty collateral consequences. So address the matter ASAP. Good luck!
A: Thank you for your question. It is unfortunate that your ex-wife is not following the instructions of the Judge in the divorce case. Since there is still an active Restraining Order you are prohibited from communicating directly with the other party. You may file an application with the Court called Motion to Enforce Litigant’s Rights to return to Court and get an Order directing the other party to dismiss the Restraining Order. Due to the sensitive nature of this matter, I strongly urge you to schedule an attorney consultation.
A: First off, since there is still a restraining order in effect, do not reach out to your ex-wife since can still constitute a violation of the order (until formally dismissed). 2ndly, to dismiss a domestic violence restraining order, your ex-wife needs to communicate with the domestic violence intake office at the courthouse to schedule a date for her to appear before a judge to have the judge dismiss the order of protection. It cannot simply be dismissed by the court without her personal appearance before the court and a judge confirming her voluntary agreement to the dismissal. If there were attorneys involved, reach out to the attorney[s] and ask that they communicate with her about her obligation to dismiss the DV complaint. If there were no attorneys involved and you are fearful of communications with her (for the reasons set forth above), then you will have to file an application with the court for enforcement of the terms of your agreement. My guess is that your ex simply did not realize the steps she needed to take to dismiss it and presumed that by virtue of the language of the divorce agreement, thought that it would simply be handled by the court on its own.
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